The Differences Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

Depriving someone of their lawful property is a crime—both legally and ethically! No citizen should possess property or belongings that are not legally and lawfully theirs.

The three main categories of this type of crime are theft, robbery, and burglary. The law of Indiana deals with all three differently, in accordance with the extent of the crime.

Let’s go through the differences:


Theft refers to a situation where the perpetrator of the crime stole someone else’s property while intending to deprive them of it permanently.

Whether you steal from a store, your workplace, or from someone’s house—you’ll be considered a thief. Pickpockets and car thieves also fall within this category.

If you exercise unauthorized control over someone’s property (with a value less than $750) with an intention to keep it in Indiana, it could classify as a Class A misdemeanor. The resultant fine could be as high as $5,000, with up to one year of prison time.

If the value of the stolen property was between $750 and $50,000, the act would be considered a Level 6 felony. In this case, the fine often hovers around $10,000, with 6 months to 2.5 years of jail time.



The legal definition of robbery is ‘taking or attempting to take anything of value by force, threat of force, or by putting the victim in fear.’ Hurting someone or even threatening them during the act of stealing also qualifies as a robbery attempt.

Common examples or robberies include mugging, shop heists, and when vehicles are forcibly taken from a driver. Since robberies include the use of force, they’re considered to be a more serious crime, compared to theft.

The law of Indiana categorizes robberies into ‘robberies’ and ‘armed robberies.’ A robbery is a level 6 felony that’s punishable by up to six years in prison. The fine can go up to $10,000. In the case of an armed robbery (level 3 felony), the act is punishable by as many as sixteen years in prison.


A burglary is an act in which a:

  1. Trespasser enters a building to steal, but also ends up inflicting bodily harm and unlawful damage to its inhabitants.
  2. Trespasser enters a building in an attempt to steal, or makes an attempt to inflict bodily harm and unlawful damage to its inhabitants.

If the burglary takes place in a residential building, it’s known as a domestic burglary. This includes apartments, houses, caravans, garages, etc. If the event takes place in a building where people don’t live—shops or offices—it’s known as non-domestic burglary.

In light of Indiana’s laws:

  1. A residential burglary is a level 4 felony that is punishable by two to twelve years behind bars. The fine, in this case, can go up to $10,000.
  2. If the same burglary results in physical harm, the jail time can go up to sixteen years.
  3. If the offender is armed and the resulting physical damage is severe, it classifies as a level 2 felony, and can be punishable by 10 to 30 years in prison.

Not all robberies and burglaries are the defendant’s fault. If you feel like you were the wrong person at the wrong time, there’s always a way to escape trouble. All you need to do is get in touch with a reliable bail bond agency in Indiana and secure your bail.

Luckily, DeLaughter Bail Bonds serves over 90 counties in Indiana. Get in touch.

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